Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods informed the media that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney would once again miss practice on Thursday due to an illness. They expect him back healthy Friday or Saturday with the expectation he will play against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Clowney missed Wednesday's practice as well, but tested negative for COVID-19. The Browns have extremely high hopes for Clowney as he's a huge part of the transformation they've made on defense. And given that the Chiefs may be trying to run the ball more this year, his role could be critical.
The Chiefs will have five new starters on the offensive line this year, including three that have never played in an NFL game. The Browns may line up Clowney over one or potentially any of the three rookies depending on the situation. The defensive line has the versatility to line him up at his traditional defensive end spot, but he could line up inside over a guard or center to attack the quarterback.
Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith, the projected starters at center and right guard are both rookies. Right tackle Lucas Niang was drafted in 2020, but opted out of the season over COVID-19 concerns.
Clowney and Myles Garrett are the two franchise type players the Browns defensive line is built around with a number of interesting role players across the front able to contribute. Due to a knee injury, Clowney missed half the season last year.
This was his first training camp in three years, so he has said he feels healthy, energized. Clowney has high expectations for himself this year and loves the setup the Browns have with Garrett taking pressure away from him up front.